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Online resources for children: updated May 18th

Carol Williams
Mon 18 May, 2020

Home schooling under the current crisis can be difficult. Here's some help.

We will be regularly updating this page as we find new resources. If you have any tips, or good links, please email matt@nottmcityoflit.org

UPDATE MAY 18TH

Inspire, who run Notts Libraries, have a range of family activities on their website, including a challenge here by writer Jayne Williams. Watch and listen as she tells her story of The Night the Books Came to Life, and have a go at writing your own story.

https://www.inspireculture.org.uk/online/children-and-families/story-making-challenge/

Inspiread is a new online Primary Book Award, created by Inspire’s Education Library Service. The aim is to get everyone reading children’s books: pupils, teachers, parents, grandparents, carers, schools, families and friends. The award will run during the Summer Term, lockdown or no lockdown! The shortlist is on the website now, so get reading, and you can vote from 6th July.

https://www.inspireculture.org.uk/whats-on/news/2020/05/07/inspire-els-new-online-primary-book-award-inspiread2020/

Hay Book Festival, like most festivals this year, can obviously not run in the normal way, but has instead gone online. And it kicks off on Monday 18th May with a week of free events for youngsters. Each day, from 8am onwards, you can see two primary (years 3-6) authors introduced by Konnie Huq and two secondary (years 7-10) authors introduced by Jenny Valentine. These events will be available to watch again on Hay Player and you can access teaching materials to support learning before, during and after the festival. There are some fantastic authors, and the resources look very user friendly.

https://www.hayfestival.com/c-247-programme-forschools.aspx?resetfilters=true&localesetting=en-GB

There are also free resources for students, aimed at 16-25 year olds. including Hay Levels, short films for A level students, and free access to Hay Player, full of audio and film of the world’s great writers.

https://www.hayfestival.com/wales/compass

Authorfy aims to bring together readers and writers, with interactive video masterclasses, and downloadable activities and resources for children and parents. For a daily dose of creativity and fun, try their 10 minute challenges, set by bestselling authors and illustrators. There’s a new one added every day.

https://authorfy.com/10minutechallenges/

The Literacy Trust’s family zone are adding new content on a regular basis – this is the link for activities for the youngest age range

https://literacytrust.org.uk/family-zone/birth-4/

And new resources at the Book Trust are highlighted here

https://www.booktrust.org.uk/?_cldee=Y3dpbGxpYW1zMTg1QGdtYWlsLmNvbQ%3d%3d&recipientid=contact-12a92b3b67d3e7118126e0071b668031-86112c5ba7314d54905f794fa7a430d1&esid=48a37baf-f68d-ea11-a811-000d3ad87f60

Independent bookshop, The Alligator’s Mouth, have some great story videos on their Youtube channel, with new ones being added regularly. See them at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkUuWmem0NcgZFPGtCjXZYA

National Book Tokens, are running a competition to design a book token, with prizes for the winning children and their school, once schools reopen. The closing date is 28th June.

https://www.nationalbooktokens.com/create-a-national-book-token-for-your-class?utm_source=nbt&utm_medium=email&utm_content=create&utm_campaign=schools-campaign-2020

Read Aloud is a campaign that aims to encourage all parents to read with / to and with their children. They have lots of resources, including a 21 day challenge …

https://readaloud.org/downloads.html

Locally, Creswell Crags in Notts, home to some of the earliest cave art in Britain, has a poetry competition, open to adults as well as under 16s. They are asking you to send in your poems inspired by nature, place and landscape, and the deadline is 31st May.

https://www.creswell-crags.org.uk/2020/05/01/creswell-crags-nature-poetry-competition/


Notts author L.D. Lapinski’s book The Strangeworlds Travel Agency, a magical adventure story, was published this April. And her website has links to her videos of writing prompts, workshops and other activities.

https://www.ldlapinski.com/learning-resources

Not strictly an online resource, but worth a mention is a book just out, Be Plastic Clever, by young Nottingham sisters Amy and Ella Meek. The two teenage activists are on a mission to rid the world of single-use plastics, and this practical book is perfect for budding eco-warriors. Their website has lots of information and ideas as well

https://www.kidsagainstplastic.co.uk/

https://www.dk.com/uk/book/9780241447079-be-plastic-clever/

And finally, something for adults … The NSPCC are making their online safeguarding training (which takes 15 minutes) available free. As they point out, postal workers, delivery drivers and workers who regularly visit homes are well placed to spot any emerging safeguarding concerns or signs of possible abuse and neglect. So it makes sense to offer free training to promote this. Find information at https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/training/safeguarding-awareness-course

UPDATE 2nd April 2020

Author Nicola Morgan is doing a great job of collating free online resources from children’s authors, at

https://www.nicolamorgan.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Free-book-activities.pdf

The National Justice Museum in Nottingham has lots of activities, which you can keep up with on Twitter

Twitter: @JusticeMuseum

and is inviting people to join their #lettersofconstraint project: “write a letter that shares a personal insight into a time of confinement and isolation during the current Covid 19 pandemic”. The deadline is 12th June

https://www.nationaljusticemuseum.org.uk/lettersofconstraint/

Nottingham Playhouse has activities for the family at their Family Fest site, including drama games and the Bookworm Club

https://www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/participation/community/digital-playhouse/family-fest/

Story Parks, which ran last year in Nottingham’s Parks, is going online this year, for obvious reasons. Find all their resources at

https://storyparksnottingham.com/

The Book of Hopes is a wonderful book, published by the Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury. It is a collection of stories, poems and pictures by well-known writers and illustrators for children, put together by author Katherine Rundell. It aims to help children, and indeed all of us, to keep hopeful in difficult times. It is available, for free, online only at

https://literacytrust.org.uk/family-zone/9-12/book-hopes/

BookBound2020 has a great selection of story readings to watch, including Jasbinder Bilan reading from her book Asha and the Spirit Bird

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnGihggkofWFkDA_H6GXTWHA1oP_f05vd

The British Library have some good ideas, in Discovering Children’s Book, including a video of Axel Scheffler demonstrating how to draw a Gruffalo:

https://www.bl.uk/childrens-books

The Schools’ Hub at Chicken House Books has a #CoopedUpKids section with loads of resources :

https://www.chickenhousebooks.com/schools/coopedupkids/

For creativity of all kinds, follow Create to Connect, who will be hosting a month of daily creative challenges in May. This is all about being creative at home, and sharing the results. You can sign up and receive daily emails for the challenges, or just use the website, at

https://dothinkshare.com/creative-inspiration/create-to-connect/

For teens

Nicola Morgan is launching an “Anti-Viral Creative Writing Competition” for ages 11-18.

https://www.nicolamorgan.com/news/antiviral-creative-writing-competition/

For the younger members of the family

Local writer Jonathan Emmett has a sing-along video of his book She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain, on Youtube at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iohcwqIJ4zs&feature=youtu.be

YouTube channel 'Storytime Storytime' has a huge selection of story readings, and you can also upload your own – some are in languages other than English

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNuTTSSqRgRE4LU-i-GSUIQ/videos

UPDATE: 25 April 2020

Authors Live on BBC Iplayer is a great resource, 40 minute sessions with writers and illustrators. Author Joseph Coelho and Martin Brown, Horrible Histories illustrator, are just two of the excellent programmes on offer

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p006v267/authors-live

Nosy Crow have a weekly audiobook at bedtime, so each evening you can listen to the next instalment. This week’s has been The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge. Check the link to see what is coming next.

https://nosycrow.com/nosy-crow-book-bedtime/

You can hear some brilliant interviews with authors who write for young people, in a podcast made by students at Glenthorne High School Library. Booklings Chat has 42 episodes now, and you can listen on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/booklingschat/tracks

The Reading Agency have pulled together a host of resources, at their Reading Agency Hub, which has ideas for both children and adults

https://readingagency.org.uk/hub/?goal=0_ef82b5d6fa-2cad0dd703-82152837&mc_cid=2cad0dd703&mc_eid=8d9a1efb45

For general apps to use while home schooling, the Guardian has a handy list, for pre-school up to GCSE:

https://www.theguardian.com/keep-connected/2020/apr/15/need-help-with-home-schooling-12-of-the-best-apps-if-youre-teaching-kids-in-lockdown

Local authors and libraries feature this week -

Darren Simpson, author of Scavengers, is offering to answer any questions from young readers on Twitter – just Direct Message him at @DarrenSimpson44. He also points out that Scavengers is available just now as an e-book (on any platform) for just 99p, along with all of Usborne’s children’s books.

Twitter - @DarrenSimpson44

https://usborne.com/browse-books/features/feature-subject-areas/ebooks/

If you fancy a book scavenger hunt, there are two on offer from Bromley House Library, for different age groups. These will get you looking in the books in your house (or even books that you have read) for a variety of things – like a rainbow, a long word, or a cooking boy! There is one for adults as well.

https://bromleyhouse.org/book-scavenger-hunts-for-little-people/

Update to online resources for children: 18 April 2020

A good place to find out about booky things to do with your kids is the Toppsta website, which is updating, each weekday, its list of author and illustrator events online.

https://toppsta.com/blog/view/bookish-ideas-if-you're-self-isolating-with-the-kids

If you fancy a go at story writing with the family, Nottingham City Transport have a competition, with categories from age 5 up to adult. The closing date is 30th June, so you have plenty of time to get creative.

https://www.nctx.co.uk/buster

Jasbinder Bilan, author of the Costa Award Winning Asha and the Spirit Bird, has some writing tips and prompts, with 3 videos on Youtube. Jasbinder is one of our local Nottingham authors. Find her at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIPPDtD2P_g&feature=youtu.be

Nottingham City Libraries have started a live storytime every Monday at 11AM, and Friday at 6PM, at https://www.facebook.com/NottinghamLibraries/

And there are videos of staff reading stories on Youtube at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4kRrWUnHLsnvm4dtM05Yig?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Nottingham Forest’s Big Dream Activity sheet has some creative ideas

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5fmj0vflmd86dr6/dream%20big%20booklet.pdf?dl=0

For the younger members of the family, Noisy Crow Stories Aloud has a different picture book each day, read aloud with full illustrations. It was Pip and Posy the day I checked it out.

https://nosycrow.com/nosy-crow-storytime/

Noisy Crow have also published a free downloadable book on Coronavirus for children, a great way to help talk to youngsters about what’s going on at the moment. And it’s illustrated by Axel Scheffler, whose pictures you will know from The Gruffalo.

https://nosycrow.com/blog/released-today-free-information-book-explaining-coronavirus-children-illustrated-gruffalo-illustrator-axel-scheffler/

Dave Cousins is another author doing writing prompts on Instagram – including Writing out our fears and Tiny Diary, Big Secrets

@davec9000 on Instagram

Nicola Morgan, author of The Teenage Brain, as well as YA fiction, has lots of ideas on Instagram, with a new prompt every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, promoting mental; health as well as creativity and reading

@nicolamorgansbrain on Instagram

Illustrator Emily Gravett is doing some fantastic draw-along sessions on Youtube. This one is for Cyril and Pat, but there are others

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qTs4qBmhDs

And some well known faces are reading bedtime stories on Instagram, at #savewithstories.

____________________________

Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell, has some tips for parents trying to home school their children. Along with many other experts and teachers, her advice is not to try and teach what they would be doing at school. As Cressida says, “You might not achieve everything on your school’s curriculum, but if you’ve sparked their imaginations – and they’ve developed a love of reading – then they will go back to school with a fantastic foundation for future learning.”

Reading and crucially a love of reading is one of the most important things you can do with your kids. And she has some tips on how to do that, as well as encouraging creativity and having fun together.

https://inews.co.uk/culture/arts/coronavirus-lockdown-kids-childrens-laureate-cressida-cowells-tips-to-keep-children-creative-at-home-2523275

Reading and other related activities are listed usefully by the Literacy Trust at https://literacytrust.org.uk/family-zone/

and by the Book Trust at https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/have-some-fun/

Libraries

While our local library branches are now closed, they do have brilliant free e-resources: books, audio, newspapers and magazines for people to access online (you just need to be a library member to access these and if you aren’t a member already you will be able to join online.)

https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/libraries/ebooks-emagazines-and-eaudio/ - Nottingham City libraries

https://www.inspireculture.org.uk/online/ - Nottinghamshire libraries outside the city area

AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS

Many children’s authors are reading their books online, hosting online chats, posting challenges, and generally engaging with their readers –

  • Tom Palmer, who writes children’s fiction, often with a football theme, is reading his books on Youtube, with other resources available at https://tompalmer.co.uk/ Follow him on Twitter for daily ideas on @tompalmerauthor
  • S.F.Said, author of Varjak Paw (a must read for cat lovers!) is doing a live chat on Twitter every Tuesday, 1 – 2 PM. @whatSFSaid

Resources for parents to use with children, based on specific books, are at https://authorfy.com/creative/

Premier League Primary Stars has lots of resources, including their poetry writing challenge at

https://plprimarystars.com/resources/premier-league-writing-stars-poetry-challenge

Audio books

If you want books to listen to, which can be a great way to engage children with books, and develop their listening skills – then Audible children’s books are available free at the moment.

https://stories.audible.com/start-listen/

Local Resources

The National Justice Museum has many resources available on its website

https://www.nationaljusticemuseum.org.uk/education/free-resources/

The Canalside Heritage Centre in Beeston is asking people to create artwork (a story, poem, opinion piece, drawing, collage, painting) based on the theme of community and what it means to you. Submissions will be collated into a book.

https://mailchi.mp/d0c2f8158670/get-your-creative-caps-on?e=f49ed99be8

Young Creative Awards, for ages 11-24, give youngsters a chance to show off their skills in Creative Writing, Digital and Animation, Drama, Film, Photography, and many other areas. The deadline for entries is now 27th April.

http://www.youngcreativeawards.org/


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